For three-quarters of a century there have been capital books written on big game hunting in Africa, - one of the best being the earliest, that by Captain Cornwallis Harris. Of course the only type of big game hunter who can write a book really worth reading is the hunter who is also at least to a certain extent an out-of-doors naturalist. In addition, he should thoroughly enjoy the strange desolate scenery of the African wilderness, and have a sympathetic understanding of the wild men who accompany him on most of his hunts. More and more of late years the best type of big game hunter has tended to lay stress on the natural history and ethnology of the regions into which he has penetrated, and to make his book less and less a catalogue of mere slaughter.
Captain Stigand is one of the most noted of recent African big game hunters and explorers, and he is also a field naturalist of unusual powers. His studies of the tracks of animals have been almost unique. The only studies approaching them are those about the tracks of the game of continental Europe, in the German hunting books of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.